Besides Apple, LG Electronics, Huawei and Xiaomi all had good first quarters.
Trying to make operating systems successful in the shadow of Android and iOS continued to be very challenging during the first three months of the year. Sales of smartphones running Windows Phone increased to 8.3 million [m] during the period. But that wasn't enough to keep up with overall growth, so the its market share dropped from 2.7 percent year-on-year to 2.5 percent.
Microsoft is hoping to give mobile sales a boost with Windows 10, which will offer a more consistent user interface across all types devices.
BlackBerry continued to see smartphone buyers ignore its products and OS. The company sold 1.3 million [m] smartphones, which was enough for a 0.4 percent market share. During the first quarter last year, BlackBerry sold 1.7 million [m] smartphones for a 0.6 percent market share. If that downward spiral continues, and there are few reasons why it wouldn't, Blackberry CEO John Chen won't be able to keep selling hardware whether he wants to or not.
Even though BlackBlack struggled, it still managed to sell more devices than the operating systems collected by Gartner in the "other OS" category, which include Samsung's Tizen and Mozilla's Firefox OS. Neither company seems ready to give up, but selling less than 1.3 million [m] units together doesn't bode well for the future.
With the features and core capabilities becoming increasingly similar, it's now critical for OS developers to find ways to differentiate themselves. They need to extend their ecosystem's reach by adding new functionalities, and build platforms that can span multiple devices types, according to Gartner.
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